Kittens and new sofas/rugs etc.

(33 Posts)
TryingagainN1mtb Thu 27-Dec-12 14:50:39

Hello,

I'm thinking of getting a pair of kittens in the new year. I've grown up with cats/kittens and my parents still have them so know what is involved generally but we've just bought new sofas/rugs etc. and I'm worried that the kittens will destroy them. My parents never attempted to train cats properly and have scratched up sofas and carpets (well, to some extent) although they have had the carpets (and cats) for 27 years!

Is it possible to stop kittens ruining nice new sofas?! Does a sharp clap of the hands and a firm "NO!" or some water spray really train them not to? I was thinking of trying that along with having a good scratching post which I'd try to encourage them to use (with treats or something). However, I do know cats are not like dogs and cannot be trained in the same way (or to the same extent!

I'm going to be a stay at home mum for a bit from January so I thought now was a good time to get kittens if we're ever going to. Husband is not keen at all so we haven't had them before. (He didn't want the responsibility - quite funny, given that we have two smallish children who you have to show a little more responsibility towards...)

I'm qutie confident about all the other new-kitten related issues! My cat when I was growing up had kittens (when I was 11) and then there were a few more litters in our home.

Any experience would be gratefully received! Thank you!

Oh yes, I'd be getting kittens from a local rescue home so they'll be moggies.

cozietoesie Thu 27-Dec-12 15:52:12

I've found it straightforward to train them not to scratch by a combination of hand claps and voice - and some judicious choices of old furniture or carpet pieces around the place as 'authorized places'. I've done it with Siamese though and they learn very quickly. (Afraid I've never had luck with scratching posts.)

You've got to give them something to scratch so if the post doesn't work, you may need to nominate and old piece of upholstered furniture or get some of those free carpet samples and lightly tack them down or put them under heavy furniture to hold them down.

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 27-Dec-12 16:24:13

Ours is also an intelligent breed like cosies and pays no attention at all to training. It takes up time better spent learning how to open all drawers, windows and doors.

Pets at home do an extra tall scratch post that he likes and squeaky mouse is also popular. Both pale into insignificance compare to ragging dh favourite rug, while looking him straight in the eye.

He wasn't too bad as a kitten because his claws were shorter, but he pretty much wrecked the sofa using it as a springboard.

How about an older cat who is calmer?

TwoCatsAndABabyBump Thu 27-Dec-12 16:35:59

We have 2 cats who we have had since they were 7 weeks old. They are now both 3 and a half. They scratch our sofas, scrap at our rug and carpets and jump on the dining room table. No amount of shouting, loud clapping/noises or the water spray has deterred them from doing exactly what they want!

The water spray does stop them in their tracks but it has not deterred them from doing it in the first place. Little buggers! grin

cozietoesie Thu 27-Dec-12 17:00:07

Goodness. You all have a lot of difficulty. Maybe it's just the Siameseness and nothing to do with brains that makes them easy to train. hmm

Looks like I'm outnumbered by the problem stories, Tryingagain.

Maybe now is the time to invest in some add-on loose covers for the furniture and put any really good rugs in storage.grin

RooneyMara Thu 27-Dec-12 17:10:19

I have never had a cat that doesn't want to take the furniture to pieces tbh. I've also never had a siamese smile

I've grown up with cats and had very few times in my life without at least one. I fostered for a while too.

We have a 14yo cat and I am now at a point where I want to have a nice house, (children notwithstanding!) and our sofas are covered permanently with thick layers of blankets. It's such a shame. They are nice sofas and if I take off the blankets they get scratched to pieces.

I cannot wait to have a cat free house. When I read your thread title my initial reaction was 'You. Are. Bonkers.' smile

RooneyMara Thu 27-Dec-12 17:12:10

Oh and ours scratches the carpets every day too. And pisses on the bath mat. (we don't leave it on the floor any more)

and distributes the recycling all over the kitchen floor

and knocks over cups and everything else while scavenging for bits of left over food
and sticks her head into cups of cocoa hmm
and crisp packets

Honestly it's more trouble than anything else I can think of. Our entire home is ruled by the sodding cat.

TryingagainN1mtb Thu 27-Dec-12 17:20:24

Oh man!!! Thank you all..... Hmmm. Food for thought. Sooo annoying. I really want at least one cat (and rescue homes want you to take pairs of kittens, which is fair enough - although our pairs of cats when I was growing up, always ended up fighting - well, at least living at opposite ends of the house anyway).

I'll let you know what we do!

Appreciate all the advice/experience - thanks again.

derekthehamster Thu 27-Dec-12 17:22:24

Our cat (2yrs old) has never scratched the furniture, although we have leather sofas if that makes a difference. He does use the tall scratching post on the landing, and we also have some wicker trunks that we store shoes in, which he uses.

He also uses the washing line prop in the garden.

So he does in fact use the furniture, but nothing of value grin

RooneyMara Thu 27-Dec-12 17:24:03

Oh ours really got excited when I uncovered the leather sofa for a few days. I didn't realise till later that she had had a go at it. I nearly screamed with despair.

sad

Derek I envy you.

TryingagainN1mtb Thu 27-Dec-12 17:36:24

Derek and Cozietoesie - well, I could possibly get cats like yours I suppose! If I try very hard to encourage them to use the scratching post etc. first... I suppose if I get kittens, I've got a better chance of training them - even if they are very hard work at first! And I could just shut the door to the sitting room (where the new expensive sofas and rugs are) to stop them coming in although that would be a shame. I like them coming in to sit on my knee in the evening. Gah - such a dilemma. I really want cats! But we have just spent a lot of money on sofas, rugs and nice curtains too! (Moved house 18 months ago and finally got round to buying nice stuff to go in the nice house!) But I do have a pre-schooler and a reception child so the house isn't exactly pristine....

jessjessjess Thu 27-Dec-12 17:44:53

My kitten has yet to damage anything in the house. He has plenty of toys and attention, and two scratching posts. But I don't give a shit if he does scratch the furniture a bit or I wouldn't have got him.

TryingagainN1mtb Thu 27-Dec-12 17:51:43

Good to hear Jess!! More stories like that please! (Not really - I need honesty...) I'm not as house-proud as I sound. It's just the first time we have bought "grown-up" rather than Ikea furtniture.

jessjessjess Thu 27-Dec-12 18:12:52

We still have Ikea stuff and no leather sofas though!

Fluffycloudland77 Thu 27-Dec-12 18:50:08

Before we had fluffy cat we had my childhood cats. All 4 of them.

They all scratched the furniture more than the bengal does, they wrecked a chaise long and refused to use scratch posts.

We had one stray come to live with us, he was very easy to train. You only had to tell him no once and that was it. Came in when whistled, no trouble at all. I think he was grateful to be away from the dogs in the family who bit him leaving wounds on his little legs. The previous owners had been banned by the rspca from keeping animals at all. When they moved out they came to get him and he ran away and hid from them. sad

bigwombat Fri 28-Dec-12 08:44:37

Our cat has wrecked our carpet, but not the sofas or any other furniture! Getting a hard floor next year, so wonder what she will start on then hmm. Just bought a cat nip scented scratch pad. Dh said he would eat his hat if she used it - found her lying on it this morning and scratching!!!

Lonecatwithkitten Fri 28-Dec-12 09:15:02

Scratching furniture is a marking behaviour so fixing it is about making cats believe the furniture is already theirs.
I have always sprayed new furniture etc with Feliway spray and my cats do then leave it alone. I do allow then one piece of that they can play with,.

SheilaWheeler Fri 28-Dec-12 09:24:11

Many years ago we had a brand new leather sofa delivered. As I said thankyou and goodbye to the delivery man, my beloved cat was stratching it!

TryingagainN1mtb Fri 28-Dec-12 20:54:28

Thanks to you all for replying... Sounds like some cats are less prone to scratching furniture than others but you can't necessarily 'train' them not to.

I'm still thinking but I really do want a cat! And I'd be happy to have two. I might jut decide to keep the sitting room door shut. We're in the kitchen most of the day (it has a sofa) and only use the sitting room for 20 mins DVD for the children before bed and for me and DH in the evening of we're watching TV.

Hmmmmmmm. I'll let you know what i do. And if we get kittens/cats, whether they are scratchers.....!

If we do get them, I'm getting scratching posts and that feli thingy and digging out a water pistol from the children's toys....

And a few throws from ikea for now. And some bits of carpet samples.....

Thank you for the ideas!

derekthehamster Sun 06-Jan-13 21:01:59

One thing, which might help, is that the living room door is closed at night and when we're out of the house because we have hamsters in there, and used to have degus (before they died).

TryingagainN1mtb Sun 06-Jan-13 21:29:08

Thanks Derek. Yes, I think we'll keep the sitting room door shut totally at first and then always shut it at night. I'm going to contact the shelter on Tuesday (-they've already been for a Pre-adoption visit and I/the house have been approves...).

One question though - the shelter is very keen to home kittens in pairs. I can understand when they are little that it's reassuring and fun to have a sibling to play with but all the pairs of cats we've had have when i was growing up ended up ignoring each other or not getting on at all.

Do you think it's really better to have two cats? I'm convinced it's good to have two dogs but am unsure about cats.... Thank you!

gobbin Sun 06-Jan-13 21:40:08

Tall scratching post next to litter tray (bought online,, much taller than pets at home versions), fleeces on the leather suite with a fleecy cat mat on 'their' chairs (non leather) and a blind eye to the play scragging they gave the leatherette bar stools (which aren't as costly to replace). Nothing of value has been scratched yet, but a firm No with handclap generally gets the message across if they're looking like evil intent. One foes, however, like the very top of the kitchen units!

Mine will all use scratch posts and haven't wrecked too much (bottom step is a bit goosed!) but you definitely need a big, sturdy scratchpost. The pets at home types just don't have the strength or resistance. We have an XXL one from zooplus (which is just a straight pole but very fat and tall) and a ceiling cat tree with lots of different levels.

I have 7 siamese x kittens at the moment and I'm inclined to agree with cozietoesie they're 7 weeks old and so far no carpet of sofa clicking and no curtain climbing either so perhaps it is a breed thing ( they'll be looking for homes soon, if you're near the northeast of England you're welcome to come and have a lookwink) apologies for shameless kitten pushing!

Forgot to add we have a scratching post/ cat tree type thing for them

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now